Written by: Matt Molgaard
When it comes to the topic of the best Stephen King book written, everyone has their own opinion. In a sense, this piece, while dabbling in a different subject matter altogether, is a reflection of my own personal take on the subject. As a diehard King fan, it’s easy for me to isolate five story’s that could potentially see a revisit; sift through the favorites, take a pick.
Some of the novels you’ll spot on this list leave an open gateway for a follow-up. Misery all but screams for a sequel. Christine could very easily find a way back into the world of a giddy teen, that new prized possession… that leans on an inclination to kill those who defile precious metal. Stephen King’s told a few tales that almost seem as though they were designed with the idea of a later return at the forefront of one wildly imaginative mind.
Chances are we’ll never see a single one of these hypothetical sequels created, but oh how glorious it would be if we did. Anything is possible I suppose, and King himself proves that by offering up Doctor Sleep this year. I doubt many would have predicted a sequel to The Shining would ever see the light of day, but it’s happening all the same. Perhaps the idea of Paul Sheldon working his way back into the throes of torturous obsession aren’t entirely preposterous…
‘Salem’s Lot 2: Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining, will hit the market later this year. Seeing King travel back to a true classic to revive the Torrance name is amazing. Outside of the Dark Tower series, Stephen’s never been overzealous with sequel work. However, the man apparently realizes that if you’re going to revisit a story, it had better be a good one. Other than a very small handful of novels, nothing beats ‘Salem’s Lot (my personal favorite from King) when it comes to the sub-genre. I’d take a completely new setup with a string of new characters just as quickly as I’d leap to see Ben Mears make an official return to the forefront of a new story. Either way, King slays the vampire branch of the horror tree, and I think I speak for most when I say a new ‘Salem’s Lot book would be a welcomed product!
Cycle of the Werewolf 2: How crazy would it be if Reverend Lester Lowe just suddenly resurfaced? This complex character is still a wonder to behold, and the terror he unleashes on the small town of Tarker’s Mills, Maine is memorable for all the right reasons. Cycle of the Werewolf is delivered in unique fashion, but it works, extremely well. King’s take on the lycanthrope is intoxicating, and the characters birthed within the pages of Cycle rank amongst the best to be introduced by King. Still one of Mr. King’s more under-appreciated accomplishments, this is a story that resonates, and could conceivably give way to a stellar sequel. We’ll never see it happen again, but I’d love to pick up a sequel to this one. Something special happens when King starts tinkering with werewolves.
Misery 2: King takes realistic terror to new heights with this psychological mind-bender. Author Paul Sheldon may enjoy notable success in his field, but he also runs face first into a living nightmare when the bat-shit crazy Annie Wilkes yanks him from his wrecked vehicle in what initially seems to be nothing more than a lucky rescue job. We know Annie’s fate, but what if Paul just so happened to stumble into the lap of another psychotic fan incidentally? What if Sheldon’s traumatic experienced birthed a fact-based retelling of his account with Wilkes, which sparked the wheels of Paul’s true number one fan? I can’t answer these questions, but I’d love to see King do so.
Christine 2: Arnie Cunningham might be one of King’s most sympathetic creations. The poor kid traveled the teenage gamut and then some in Christine, and we all know where it ultimately led. Arnie’s fate wasn’t exactly pretty, although the love he held for Christine definitely felt pretty. In fact, this strange romance is almost sublime in a dark, depressing way. Christine works as a fine character study and an interesting coming of age tale. While the magic of the original story will probably never be duplicated, Christine is the kind of machine that keeps on runnin’. I’d like to see this possessed ride run right into the arms of another awe-struck teen. The original novel’s conclusion makes that an unlikely scenario, but this is Stephen King and genuine evil we’re talking about here… where there’s a will there’s a way, right?
Cell 2: Cell didn’t win a lot of King fans over. Some have even branded the novel King’s worst. I completely disagree. I thought the story moved at a rapid pace, and despite the (almost satirical, at times) examination of contemporary technology, the novel carried a vintage King vibe. If the story focused on anything other than modern day gadgets, I’d swear King pumped this one out 30 years ago. To be completely honest, I have no idea what direction Mr. King could take in reviving this story, but I’m confident the man could spin something interesting from the remains of the Cell.